By Thomas Krehbiel
I saw on Crowhill that one of Michelle Malkin's videos (something about Islamic violence) got pulled from YouTube. This struck me as funny. :) And not just because Malkin, a la the best war profiteers, is personally profiting from the culture wars. (By the way, Malkin misleads with her title... she wasn't banned, she just had one of her videos pulled. There's a big difference between the two.) I thought it was funny because I'm not a big fan of the collection of technology ideals known as "Web 2.0," and I enjoy seeing them fail.
I can't say with complete certainty because I haven't played much with their site (and I don't particularly want to from work), but I suspect YouTube has a "peer-review" system sort of like Blogspot does, wherein any old schmoe can come along and flag a site as "objectionable." If the automated monitoring system gets enough of those flags, they yank the site automatically. And everyone celebrates the Web 2.0-ness and self-regulation of the system (and, ahem, the makers of the system celebrate not having to pay people to monitor the system manually). Unfortunately, there's absolutely nothing to prevent a coordinated campaign by any mob (good, bad, or indifferent) to remove someone from the system. (And human nature being what it is, mobs are inevitable.) Mobs have even greater potential in Web 2.0, because some nefarious people can write some bots to simulate a much bigger mob.
So in this particular case, I'd lay the blame on Web 2.0, rather than dhimmitude. If they let anyone around the world with Internet access into the system, statistically, there's a pretty good chance that a certain percentage of them are going to be Sharia fans with big ol' grudges against the West.
Thomas Krehbiel writes The Krehbiel Strikes Back, a moderate commentary on news, media, politics, and culture.
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